Tom Hanks Network
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Tom Hanks has a new app out. You read that correctly, not a movie, but an app. It’s called theHanx Writer, and it is a technological testament to a serious disease that afflicts the poor man. Call it typewriter-itis.

Hanx Writer turns your iPad into an old-school manual typewriter. It replicates the thwack-thwack sound of metal stamping on paper and the ding-clunk-fripp of reaching the end of one line and starting a new one. The app is free in Apple’s App Store, though additional typewriter fonts and sounds cost $2.99 each.

If you’re puzzled about all this, you can, depending on your age, ask your father or grandfather about the hulking mobile printing presses that one dominated desks. Or just ask Hanks. He is, in a word, obsessed.

“What’s pleasing to my sensibilities is when you have the report of the key being struck, it allows for clear thinking,” the actor tells USA TODAY, noting that his collection of typewriters once numbered 200. No telling what Mrs. Hanks, Rita Wilson, thought of that.

“I suppose some people who get the app may just be looking for a different sound, but really it’s for people searching for a more personalized experience when writing on an iPad,” he says. “There’s also the opportunity here to take your iPad to a coffee house and be really obnoxious with all the clickety-clacking.”

Hanks says he uses typewriters daily, usually to type notes to friends or make comments on a screenplay. He loves the characteristics inherent in different machines and their distinctive fonts and quirks, whether it be a Hermes 2000 or a Brother De Luxe 895.

The names alone sing of nostalgia, such as his favored mid-century Smith Corona Skywriter, whose compact size and hushed operation he says was meant for reporters hammering away on airplane flights.

Hanks is quick to add that his vision for Hanx Writer wasn’t to create a toy but rather a functional tool. So there’s a delete key and Auto Correct, and of course the ability to forward the masterpiece you’ve created.

The app’s designer, Stuart Westphal of Hitcents, the folks behind the Draw A Stickman game, says the double Oscar-winner’s mandate was simple. (source)

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